As an example, someone might have noted that they are grateful for their ‘home’, with a connection flowing to ‘comfort’ or ‘love’. ..That’s why I’m grateful for my Dad”. They’ll connect that reason with their circled ‘Dad’.
End the 10-15 minute exercise with a discussion. Your participants will now have a completed gratitude map that can be hung anywhere they choose. Read more about this Silent Gratitude Mapping activity.
My Favorite Animals
Instruct the group members to come up with their three favorite animals, in order. For each animal, the members are to write down the name of the animal and write three qualities you like about the animal.
Once each group member has identified and described their three favorite animals, ask them to consider that each animal represents you, in different ways. The first animal and its three qualities represent how you want others to see you, the second represents how people actually see you, and the third represents who you really are.
This can be a great discussion for group members, helping them to explore their thoughts and feelings in a fun and easy way. It can also generate a lot of laughs!
Finally, have each member combine meet me their three favorite animals into one. Flip the sheet over and invite them to draw or paint a picture of this animal in its habitat on the back. Tell the members to share these creations with the rest of the group, and prepare for a silly discussion!
Inside and Outside Worksheet
This Inside and Outside Worksheet can be a great tool for families with young children in therapy. It is intended for a child to complete, and the results can be discussed as a family to facilitate understanding and come up with solutions for family problems.
This worksheet includes an outline of a person or child with six boxes to fill in, three on each side.
Thinking about this emotion in a specific situation, the child is instructed to fill in the three boxes on the left side of the worksheet:
- I think…
- My body feels…
- I act this way…
Once the child has filled in these three boxes, their next step is to imagine that their thoughts change. Maybe this is a natural change, or maybe they are instructed to imagine their reaction if they purposefully change their thinking to something more positive.
When the child has this new thought in mind, they fill in the same three boxes, except these are on the right side.
This exercise can help the child compare how they think, feel, and behave when they are struggling with an emotion, to how they might think, feel, and behave if their thinking were to change. It can help children to understand the value of modifying their thinking to make it more positive, in addition to helping parents and other family members understand what the child is going through.
Getting To Know Me
Come to the group session with a list of questions prepared. These questions should be fun and interesting questions that will help the members get more comfortable talking about themselves.
- Where else might you have been at this moment if you hadn’t come to this group session today?
- What might you have chosen to do?
- Is it your own decision to come here, or does someone else encourage you to do so?
- How do you feel about coming here each week? What do you like best about this session? Is there something you don’t enjoy about this group session?